Monday, October 3, 2011
2011 Boss Cross 1&2
The first CX races of the year have come to pass for me. I couldn't have asked for better weather!! At the gun, the temps were mid 60's and climbing under a big blue sky day.
It's Monday now and I have had a bit of time to reflect on my races. Let me say this first. I do CX races for fun, I put absolutely no pressure on myself to do well, and it's easier to have fun...well...as much fun as one can have suffering!! ;)
Anyway, I wasn't sure of my fitness going into this melee, but was ready to find out. On Saturday, I do a couple of inspection/warm up laps. I get around to the sand pit. I stop to take a look, it has a concrete border about 10 inches wide, sand that is bone dry and easily 4-6 inches deep that will prevent any attempts at riding this section. One other section of note was a short steep uphill followed by an off camber hairpin left. Other than that it was pretty much straight forward with a little gravel thrown in for good measure.
So finally the time to line up comes and of course I line up DFL...oh well, why make it easy!!! GO...and we're off. I hit the pedal on the first try and managed to get to about 10th. We race along and finally come to the sand. (A side note...I did not step one foot into the sand on my inspection...BIG MISTAKE!! I did however consider riding the concrete border). I get off and start running through the sand pit from HELL!! It was probably 75 feet across, it felt like a mile. Finally through the first time and back on the bike.
I'm suffering greatly now and look at the ride time on my computer. BIG MISTAKE #2...It said 12 minutes of 45 have elapsed...at this point the mental struggle began. I recover a bit from the course tipping down ever so slightly. I still want to quit, into the sand again. In my haze of blinding pain, a moment of clarity. I will put my bike on the concrete border and run through the sand next to it while it rolls smoothly along!! Suddenly life got a little better. My method to the pit actually had me gaining time on racers that hit the sand ahead of me!! Look at the big brain on me!!!
Time rolls by, eventually I settle in and start feeling better, Suddenly I start seeing racers in my class coming back to me...game on!! I start picking them off 1 by 1. This was little past halfway through the race.
At this point, I'm chasing a guy and keeping him close. Remember the short steep uphill...he couldn't ride it and I could. Any time he gained was lost right here.
With the race winding down, I pass him in the hair pin after the short steep up, put it on kill, and tried to ride away. I put a little time in, but he managed to reel me in again. He brought another with him though...BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
The last lap is uneventful, I keep the 2 in front of me close with the idea of sprinting them...this didn't work...we all jumped at the same time and this is where I stayed...11th out of 22. Waaaaaaaay better than I thought I did.
After the race on Saturday, and how bad I felt early on, I wasn't too keen on lining up on Sunday but was going to anyway.
I get signed up and head out for my inspection of the course. They changed it a little. The course is run backwards and they removed the short steep up. Probably because there would have been dead bodies everywhere had they left it in...
One sad realization set in when I came to the sand...I wouldn't be using the border...my dismount is on the left, and the course direction dictated that I man up and run through the sand on day 2...
I felt better on day 2, the mental struggle with the quit in me began a few minutes earlier, I REALLY HATE THAT F***ING VOICE!!!!! Anyway...I finally make it shut the hell up and get on with the task at hand.
The race is uneventful for the most part. About the middle of the race a guy passed me, he put a little time on me but I managed to have a little more flow to my style than he and closed the gap. He fumbled and had to dismount, and I ride by him. He stays there until we hit the straight with the barriers. He pulls along side of me, we dismount at the same time, run the barriers, and remount. I was faster back to the pedals and on the gas. This made me laugh at him in a cocky sort of way, he acknowledged it with a yeah you got me...this made me punch it and I didn't see this guy again!!
The last lap. I have about a 10 second lead on 1 guy trying to run me down and one about 5 seconds ahead. I roll through the start finish area, by the pit and out onto a downhill gravel road. I stand and sprint down the gravel road and blow by the guy ahead of me and put another 10 seconds on the guy chasing.
Life is good...or so I thought. One last technical section and 2 more chugs through the sand and it's over...I enter the first hairpin turn and the 2 guys I had worked so hard to get rid of are wheel to wheel and on mine....
I think the last part of this section got he best of one of them. I drill it to the sand and put time in again. It's time to suffer!! I go as hard as I can go around to the last crossing of the Mojave, out of the sand and on the bike, I'm blind with pain and bury it to the line...I look back and I broke him!!! 9th out of 17.
I rode better on Sunday, and I can't think of anything I would've done different either day. I said earlier I don't put any pressure on myself dong these races, I guess that's not really true. I do want to finish 10th or better...it's minor. I had moments of weakness and totally wanted to quit I'm glad I didn't!! It was a groooovy time and I look forward to the next race!!
There you go, now you know.